Sony: "It's not going to take too long to pass 360"

Marketing VP expresses doubts MS console will still be around in 10 years

Sony's senior VP of marketing and head of the PlayStation Network has said that Sony is now "breathing down the necks" of Microsoft in terms of console sales, and predicted that while the PS3 will fulfil its planned 10 year lifespan, the 360 won't be around for as long.

"We can be passionate fans, but I don't think they'll be around in 10 years so I'm very confident we'll pass them within that time frame," Peter Dille said in an interview with IGN.

"I mean, we've got 31 million [units sold] worldwide right now - they've got 39 million [units sold]. I don't even need to go out 10 years. I'm not going to make any predictions for your interview today other than we'll pass them, but you look at where we are today and where they are today, and they had an opportunity to sprint as far ahead of us as possible when they had the head start.

"Well, we're breathing down their necks and they can see us in the rearview mirror and it's not going to take too long to pass them."

Speaking specifically about the PlayStation Network, Dille also backed up recent comments by Kaz Hirai that Sony was looking into charging for new additions to the service.

"It's been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at. I can confirm that as well. That's something that we're actively thinking about," he said.

Dille added that the company is pleased with how the PlayStation Home space is performing, saying that December saw the highest traffic yet for the service.

"The average time people spend in Home is about 60 minutes. If you think about that, it's a lot of time. I know you can sit down and game for hours and time gets lost. But think about watching a TV for a half hour or how much time you might spend on a website - there's are kind of bite-sized chunks of time. But to spend 60 minutes on Home is a pretty sticky experience."

People are also spending money in Home. Virtual items become profitable from the day they launch "because it doesn't cost a lot to create a virtual t-shirt," said Dille. And those items also become drivers for gaming content, he added.

"People walk around in Home and if they see someone wearing an artifact from Uncharted or God of War, they might ask, 'Where'd you get that?' and they might go back to that specific game space, learn more about it, become a fan of that game and then go buy the Blu-ray disc."

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Latest comments (18)

Luis Morales Public relations, Med Mercs12 years ago
Dille may be right about this, but only time will tell. To MS, Natal is just a move to be able to extend the lifespan of the 360.
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Seldin Music Studying Civilingenjör i spel- och programvaruteknik, Blekinge Institute of Technology12 years ago
I liked this statement. Why? Because it's totally misleading. When the PS3 launched, Xbox 360 had an lead at tops 7-9 million consoles. And how much is it now? Around the same. So if they keep this rate of sales they should catch up around 2017.
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Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College12 years ago
"Well, we're breathing down their necks and they can see us in the rearview mirror and it's not going to take too long to pass them."

Wonder if that'll be a GT5 rearview mirror?

Oh wait...(literally!)

This is the main reason why we have fan boys that spout endless amounts of drivel online, if the boys at the top do it 'my console is better than yours' or 'we sold x more than you so we're x times better' then it will never end. Just focus on your console without drawing comparisons to the others and maybe you will get out of the shadow quicker and regain the elite gaming crown from yesteryear of PS2

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kevin Clark-Patterson on 3rd February 2010 2:16pm

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Show all comments (18)
Albert Schmidt Game News Reporter 12 years ago
The PS3 does have better overall hardware technology, and with the most current batch of releases you can see the quality in those titles over the 360 versions (Except Bayonetta). I do also agree that Natal is a item to extend the life of the 360 to keep the masses from looking at the now aging visuals and rendering issues to produce faster and higher quality titles. Sony needs to stay on track and continue to offer coding assistance to developers who are working on PS3 titles.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.12 years ago
Technology power never wins the console race. That's been a constant since the 70's.

Further still is the gap between X360 and PS3 when the latter launched. Seldin stated it was 7-9 million though I've always known the figure to be closer to 5.5 to 6 million. Check the shipped units data from both companies. X360 has actually gained more units and widened the gap since PS3 launched.

But a very valid point from Kevin. The mudslinging from the execs this generation is out of control. It helps proliferate the "childish" nature of our industry when our figure heads and leaders are equatable to 15 year old fanboys with an inferiority complex.
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David Amirian Writer 12 years ago
Its called competition -- why would feigning ignorance about your machine to any others be any better than actually making direct comparisons?
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Michael Crivello Software Engineer 12 years ago
It's this kind of snobbish arrogance that got Sony in trouble in the first place. The rhetoric coming from Sony this generation has always been the same - that they have a superior product, that they're "right behind" Microsoft, and that they'll inevitably win the console war. If that's the case, why have they spent most of these past few years trying to play catch-up with the 360's and Wii's feature sets AND still lag many millions behind in installed console base? Sorry Sony, it doesn't add up for me. I like the PS3 as a console and a great Blu-Ray player, but Sony needs to stop sticking their corporate noses up about their product and start worrying about innovating and securing great exclusive titles again.
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Justo Jones Rigger 12 years ago
I'm pretty sure that gap has always been maintained, so they're saying they'll catch up when MS stops making the Xbox360. But MS will probably be canning it 'cause they have the next gen console ready to unleash. He should forget numbers, most people are getting 2 conoles these days (me PS3 and Xbox), and I'm talking about Wii, whose numbers probably blow Sony out of the water, and I'm talking about Donkey Kong Kart rear view mirror type of numbers.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 12 years ago
I think this is just a bullish kind of talk from Sony to "raise" PS3 profile. The thing is Microsoft can release a new console anytime and surpass them technology wise. At the moment Natal is just an experiment for them to widen the audience and stab Nintendo. As for Arc, it looks more like a buffed up Wiimote that apply similar theories to gaming. I am interested to see how Natal will work. Will it make or break the whole motion capture gaming scene? As for PS3, it will catch up quickly now that they are within accessible price range but will they do huge leap to go pass 360, I still have reservation on this one. They could well close the gaps but the current gap is still quite a bit unless 360 completely stops moving units in shops, which is highly unlikely, considering it is catching up with Wii's price advantage.
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Do they count replaced consoles?
And PS3 cost around £100 more than 360 for 3 years so that must have had an effect
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Antony Cain Lecturer, Teesside University12 years ago
"Do they count replaced consoles?"

Indeed! I've heard many a tale of people owning 4 or more X360s throughout their 'careers'. Lots of XNA/XBLA developers will own masses of 360s too, where as not many will be doing that with PS3s
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Jaco Struik Market And Sales Analyst, Electronic Arts12 years ago
I like it how he claims "Home" to be a succe. I, for one, am interested in the amount of people who installed Home, visited it and deleted it right away. So how many people do actually return to it?
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Dick12 years ago
Is there any doubt about that the ps3 will pass 360 of course it will
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Luis Morales Public relations, Med Mercs12 years ago
A lot of assumptions and figures. The truth is that ever since the global economy began to stumble corporations like Sony,MS,Nintendo etc....rethought their position and strategy. Remember, introducing a brand new console represents a lot of time,logistics, and more important of all, $$$. By extending the lifespan of consoles now a days from 5 to 10 years represents a challenge and they must do whatever to execute that, and this basically saves each company millions. This three have had closed door meetings and have talk on how to engage this cycle, so you can all expect the same on the next generation of consoles, just follow the $ ......It's all about that.
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Joseph Marlow Blogger 12 years ago
It's mostly posturing and bravado from Dille. It is naive to think the 360 wont be around by the time PS3 ends its lifespan.
If PS3 does pass it, the 360 will continue to sell very well and that means developers will still make games for it. The inevitable cross platform games means the content has to be made to the lowest common denominator, in terms of processing power.
This means those games on PS3 will not significantly outstrip the same on 360, putting them on a relatively equal footing save for 1st party titles.
With such similar experiences, and providing good extras, (social network etc) Xbox will continue to do well.... and so on.
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Alex Kitching AI Programmer, Dark Energy Digital12 years ago
Although Sony *have* been doing well with the PS3 recently (they could hardly do worse), it's this kind of attitude which got them into strife in the first place. This, compiled with their plans to add a subscription fee to PSN, really does show that Sony haven't learned a thing as far as I can see. As a few people have already said; I think Sony should concentrate on what's important, rather than throwing meaningless, extrapolated statistics into the air and blowing their own trumpet based on a few quarters of fair performance
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Joseph Marlow Blogger 12 years ago
Alex, I think you're right about how Sony should just keep their heads down instead of shouting that they are great.
Adding a subscription to PSN does make business sense though as long as it's implemented correctly i.e. not infringing on the existing free service. And it will be a split free/premium service. If they only do it to added features like cross game chat they are only matching the competition. Yeah it's not great for me the end user who doesn't get the extras free but Sony have to make the dollars.
You can bet XBL will drop the bottom off their subs to offer a free entry level service too.
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Charles Benjamin Studying Post Graduate Diploma Information and Library Studies, Robert Gordon University12 years ago
I think the 10 year life cycle is important not only for Sony and MS, but for game developers, and the gaming economy. Developing AAA games takes time, and it makes sense that developers should be able to extract 2, 3 or more games from the engine and assets developed for the AAA title. Can developers really afford to spend 5 years on one game, release it, just in time for the next generation of consoles to appear? With more and more people seeing the value for money that the PS3 offers, especially with HD entertainment and soon 3D entertainment the new thing, the more consumers will turn to the PS3. MS do seem to have hit a glass ceiling with the 360s graphics and processing capabilities. The games look great, but the PS3 is pulling way ahead with games that look amazing. MS have also started to come up against the issue of the limitations of DVD as a storage medium. MS could in theory decide that this generation is at an end, which would mean that they have won, and release a new Xbox console. But the reality is that the technology for the next generation doesn't seem to have left the drawing board yet. There seems to be a lot of talk about 30 or 40 core processors, but that seems to be 3-5 years away. AMD are currently set to release 6 core CPUs for the mainstream market. And as someone pointed out, it costs a lot of money to develop and launch a new console. Not only that, but to release a new console, MS would be starting from scratch. Which leaves MS continuing with the 360 which is starting to show its age. Kaz Hirai perhaps arrogantly said that the next gen starts when Sony says it starts, and while it may be an exageration, a bit of PR bluff, it seems clear that this 'next' gen definitely ends when Sony says it ends. Sony have from the beginning played the long strategy game, while MS were playing a short term strategy game. The PS3's initially high cost countered the high production costs until those costs could come down, and with it the cost to consumers. Blu ray is the natural successor to DVD and is rapidly taking over, and set to completely dominate as 3D movies and entertainment take off this year, something which the PS3's future proofing make it capable of handling. I like the fact that Sony have made the smart long term decisions.
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